The Public Sector in Scotland is responsible for ensuring that Scottish citizens
are provided with the wide range of goods, works and services that support them
in their daily lives. From street lighting to MRI scanners, from social care to
education and emergency services, the people of Scotland expect their taxes to be
spent wisely whist ensuring value for money and delivery of the highest quality
The public sector in Scotland accounts for around £8 billion of spend per annum.
That level of spending is of enormous significance to Scottish businesses and must
play an important role in building a wealthier and more successful Scotland.
Under the terms of the current spending review there is increasing pressures on
public funding. It is therefore essential that buyers within the public sector
to make the best possible use of existing resources.
In response to the recommendations contained in the Review of Public Procurement
in Scotland report the Scottish Procurement Directorate within Scottish Government
set up the Public Procurement Reform Programme.
One of the recommendations in the aforementioned report stated, that in order to
maintain a competitive environment and to support an open and transparent market
environment, a single public sector 'electronic portal' should be established where
suppliers can access essential information on opportunities to offer services and
bid for contracts for the supply of goods, works and services to the whole Public
Sector in Scotland. It further stated that access to, and participation in, tenders
should be free of charge.
The Scottish Government's objective is to deliver an electronic national contracts
advertising portal which contains details of contract opportunities with Scottish
Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, the Scottish Government; Agencies and Non Departmental
Public Bodies, Higher and Further Education and the Emergency Services. At the National
Procurement Conference in October 2007 Mr Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance
and Sustainable Growth and chair of the Public Procurement Reform Board stated,
"I will expect all Scottish contracting organisations to advertise contracts using
The portal Public Contracts Scotland launched in August
2008 is a vital ingredient in enabling the Scottish public sector to:
- Increase competition and support 'Best Value'
- Provide valuable free contract information to suppliers
- Support the Public Sector to achieve a more transparent tendering process and adhere
to EU rules
- Build stronger communication links with buyers and suppliers
- Stimulate growth in Scotland